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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  August 13, 2017 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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rage, hate and death in charlottesville, virginia. here's what we know at this point. three people have been arrested after violent clashes between white supreme sifts and people who came out to face them down. also, federal authorities opened a civil rights investigation. this after a car plowed into a crowd of people who were protesting the white nationalists. this man was taken into custody, 20-year-old james alex fields jr. he is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder. to show you the actual video from the car attack. it is traffic. so we want to give you a moment here if you have small children in the room, now is the time to have them turn away. here's a look at that video now.
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it the chaos there. this still image we will show you in a moment shows people in the air flying when that car came through. one woman in the crowd died. more than a dozen were wounded critically. meanwhile, democrats and some republicans are criticizing president trump for not labeling the protesters that they are, height nationalists. >> we are closely following the terrible events unfolding in charlottesville, virginia. we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and vines violence on many sides, on many sides. >> that term "on many sides" has some scratching their heads. more on that in a moment. we are hearing from the u.s. attorney general jeff sessions who released this statement. it reads in part, the violence and deaths in charlottesville
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strike at the heart of american law and justice. it goes on to say, when such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be be tolerated." brian todd has more on what exactly happened in charlottesville, virginia. >> reporter: a day of violence and escalating tension here in charlottesville, virginia as height supremacist protesters engaged in a pitched street battle on saturday in charlottesville. and then the violence got even worse. several people were injured in the initial clarks between the to groups of demonstrators. shortly after 1:30 in the street behind me, fourth street, as a group of demonstrators were walking down the street, a car plowed into several and struck two other vehicles. one 32-year-old woman was killed in the incident. at least 19 people were hurt. separately, two state troopers
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died in a helicopter crash outside charlottesville, virginia. here's what we can tell you about the suspect in the car strike that occurred. he is 20-year-old james alex fields jr. from maumee, ohio. he has been arrested and booked in a local jail. he is charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of failure to stop in an accident which resulted in a death. in addition to that, three people have been arrested in connection with the demonstratio demonstrations. two are young men from out of town. and the governor and local mayor here have told us that a lot of people they believe who have come here to cause trouble did come from out of state. civil rights investigation has been launched but the justice department into the incident here behind me. and one man faces a second-degree murder charge. brian todd, cnn, charlottesville, virginia. todd on the scene, thanks
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for the report. cnn spoke to a reporter who heard from the mother of the man suspected of driving that car into a crowd of people. >> he told her last week he was planning to go. he had taken the day off work. she described it as an alt-right rally. she said she was unaware of the extremist nature or as far as the other people who were going to be attending. >> did she say that her son was part of any of these groups, was simpatico with any of these groups? >> she was pretty unaware what the definition of alt-right would be. she fumbled over the language. i don't think she knew what that definition would be. she said she doesn't try to get too much into his political beliefs and that she's not too
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well versed in his political leanings in any way. i don't get awe sense necessarily knew what he was heading for this weekend. we are hearing from the mayor who said the white supremacists brought hatred into their city and that that belongs in the trash heap of history. >> it is brought here by outsiders and it is is brought here by people who belong in the trash heap of history with these ideas. they are going to be in the trash heap of history. this day will not define us. we will define this day by the story that we continue to tell tomorrow and the tomorrow after that, the week after that, and the year after that. there is a very sad and coarseness in our politics that we have too much of today. opponents have become our
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enemies. we are the birthplace of democracy. it is about deliberation, progress, working together. at the end of the day if you disagree with somebody, you don't try to take them down. you agree to move forward. these folks do not want that. they do not agree with the rules of democracy. they are on the losing side of democracy. the work of rebuilding and healing is just beginning. tomorrow will come. we will emerge, i can promise you, stronger than ever. >> that was the mayor of virginia. let's bring in cnn political comment airport erol lewis. let's begin with the big picture here. the president of the united states being criticized for not calling these protesters what
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they are, white nationalists, ha hatemongers. he criticized his predecessor for not using the term radical islamic terrorism. let's listen to this and we can talk on the other side. >> radical islamic terrorism. and i'll tell you what, we have a president that refuses to use the term. he refuses to say it. he refuses to use the term radical islamic terrorism. he refuses to use the term. you know, you hear the term radical islamic terrorism. he won't say it. he won't say it. and you can't solve a problem if you refuse to talk about what the problem is. >> and to now use the president of the united states's own words, he refuses to use the
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term. tough talking on venezuela, on cnn, on the "new york times", on the "washington post". any critics who get in the way this president. then again, when it comes to white nationalists, neo-nazis, the ku klux klan, this president is not being direct. >> this was a hot topic of conversation during the campaign, george. a much larger group surrounds the extremist core. politicians start to notice. this is a president who has benefited from some of that outer ring of extremist supporters. when the murder happened yesterday, when the turmoil was going on in the streets, when people were flashing nazi
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salutes and so forth, there was social media activity that really indicated thad they like the president's statement. they like the fact that he did not denounce them specifically by name. he did not come after them like he does like so many of his political opponents. it was a dog whistle statement and the dogs heard it and howled with delight that the president of the united states will not specifically condemn them, will not take action to drive them out of his political base. and he has politically benefited from them. there is no getting around it. he used the term "on many sides." i would like to see this video that took place in charlottesville. when you see this, some people see one thing.
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others see another thing. clear as a bell. clear as day. but, again, "on many sides" is the question here. and he has taken heat for this, erol. i have lost erol lewis. >> i'm here. >> you see the video here. it's playing out. is the president missing the mark here, or does he have a point when he uses the term "on many skaoeuides"? >> reporter: look, he is clearly avoiding the direct statement, the direct criticism we get when he talks about, for example, the media. what he talks about frankly some of his political allies. mitch mcconnell, senate majority leader. he is very specific. no meigs taking what he means when he goes after a political opponent or certain of his allies. when he said many times he cries
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out for further explanation. reporters were shouting at him as he walked away and refused to answer exactly what he meant by that. month are these many sides. how about some straight clarity? now, we have been talking for a good 12 hours now there has been this discussion on social media, which we know the president personally watches on cnn, on other networks. people have been saying now for hours and hours that this many sides am by beauty is aid and comfort to the racists and supremacists and violent extremists who caused this tragedy. we need clarity from the president. we have not received that clarity and i'm not sure we ever will. >> this is a president who does take to twitter. it is a place where you can
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expoue expound more on comments. the opportunity always there to get some understanding what "on many sides" means. thank you so much for your time today. >> reporter: thank you, george. some activist groups say the president's reaction to the violence in virginia rings hollow. but after the off ugly tone of his campaign, some say they are not surprised. stay with cnn as we push on with our breaking news coverage. right now, when you get the incredible iphone 7 from at&t you can get unlimited data and live tv. the channels you love. your favorite shows and movies. making your iphone into more of a... oh my tv is ringing. hey...i'm in the middle of a...a second iphone from at&t? okay! right now when you buy a new iphone 7 from at&t you'll get a second iphone 7 on us. and power both with unlimited data and live tv. finally partner. our own hmmhmmmmmm. selfie? yeah! ok. desk in the background. ok. best day ever.
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♪ >> we continue following breaking news this hour on cnn. federal authorities have opened a similar rights investigation into a car a tarbg thttack that place in the city of charlottesville, virginia. one woman died, 19 injured. police arrested 20-year-old james alex fields jr. this rally was to protest a planned removal of a con tpfed
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statue at a state park. the confederate states fought to preserve slavery. that say it makes it symbols of a bog on theory. virginia's capital, richmond, was the main capital of the successionist. it was fought in virginia. half a million men became casualties within its border. the state was starved and devastated by the end of the war. they build statues of generals and battle fields preserved as parks. politicians are criticizing the u.s. president. athena jones as this story for us.
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>> reporter: that's right. the president did respond to the violence in charlottesville earlier today. here is part of what he had to say. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. it's been going on for ah long time in our country. not donald trump, not barack obama. it's been going on for a long, long time. it has no place ine america. >> reporter: in one phrase you heard from the president right now there is getting a lot of attention, a lot of criticism. that is what he said the violence, hatred and bigotry on many sides, on many sides. he is equating the neo-nazis, white nationalists who were demonstrating today and last night with the folks who were counterdemonstrating, protesting the racism and the racial epithets they were espousing. i asked what the white officials
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what he main by several times. what he meant by many sides. >> they said he was coming hatred, bigotry from all sides. there was violence between protesters and counterprotesters did. today. that was the white house doubling down on this idea that both sides are to blame. another thing that is notable, the president talked about bringing the country together. the need to unite, to straighten out the situation in charlottesville, to study it, to figure out what's going wrong in this country that allows this sort of thing to happen. while a lot of critics are saying the president himself needs to call out the organizers of these demonstrations by name. specifically we're talking about the white nationalists. people who were carrying flags with nazi emblems, confederate flags. people showed up on the
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university of virginia's campus last night carrying torches, protesting the removal of a confederate statue. they know the president has long criticized people like barack obama for not using phrases like radical islamic terrorism. how can you defeat this enemy without naming it. one more thing i want to note. this is a president who has not been shy about criticizing a long list of people. whether it's democrats like president barack obama or his former rival hillary clinton or fellow republicans like senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, john mccain, form or fbi director james comey, and special counsel bob mueller. what he has not done is condemn white supremely, white nationalists, nazis or neo-nazis. that is why a lot of people believe his statement here on saturday did not go far enough. back to you.
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>> athena jones reporting. now "the voice" of analyst david gergen. after he listened to the violence that took place in virginia, gergen said his lack of condemnation of white supremacists lends them legitimacy. listen. >> reporter: we do know one thing is clear. the president repeated on many sides. did equate. he placed a moral equivalecy he placed a moral equivalency between the neo-nazis and the people who showed up today to defend racial justice. and in doing that, by putting an equivalence on it, he in fact, defended the neo-nazis.
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that was a defense. everybody has to do it. i'm sorry. that we have to be very clear about, the second thing is, yes, there is a first amendment protection for freedom of assembly, freedom of speech. it is not an unfettered right. you do not have a right under the first amendment -- the courts have been quite clear. you do not have the right to use violence that incites violence, when you have groups marching through charlottesville chanting anti semitic slurs, going after blacks, when they say take this country back and milwaukee it white dominated country again. that is what we had. primary responsible for the violence rests with those people who are the neo-nazis and white supremecists and other extremists. among those attending the rally in virginia was a holocaust denier, former kkk leader david duke. he has been a vocal supporter of
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president trump during the presidential campaign. this is when then candidate trump was asked about david duke. trump initially did not disavow the kk leader. he blamed it initially on the earpiece. but then accidently had this to say. >> yes. go ahead. >> how do you feel about the recent endorsement from david duke? >> i didn't even know he endorsed me. i disavow, okay? >> so the president disavowing david duke. he described the alt-right and neo-nazi rally in virginia. listen. >> this represents a turning poi point. people are determined to take our country back. we're going to fulfill the promises of donald trump. that's that we believed in. that's why we voted for donald trump. because he said he's going to take our country back.
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>> mr. trump condemned the rally and urged americans to come together. duke sent a tweet directed at the president saying mr. trump should take a good look in the mirror and remember it was white americans who put him in the presidency, not radical leftists. former lieutenant governor andre bower he began by reacting to david duke's comments that you heard. >> david duke is not in any way what i think what this country tries to speak to the world about welcoming and being a tolerant of other people's views. in fact, it's just the opposite. and it's not healthy. i don't know how he's even releva relevant. i don't know why you continue to cover him. it would take his relevance away. >> your thoughts on some of the gop lawmakers who are doing what the president didn't do.
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for instance, senator oren hatch tweeting we should call evil by his name. senator ted cruz calling it domestic terrorism. chuck grassley, what white nationalists are doing is homegrown terrorism. you have law makers, republican colleagues of the president, who are calling it what it is. yet the president not doing that. how do you explain this huge disconnect between the president of the united states and these gop senators? >> well, those gop senators had plenty of time to come up with their message. they're not taking on as many things as the president of the united states is right now. some the president has had time. he has had hours to tweet again. hasn't he? >> he has tweeted. >> he does like to use twitter. >> he has tweeted sad, unfortunate -- well, i don't know that he said unfortunate.
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>> he hasn't called out white supremacy. >> well, i hope tomorrow that he does. again, i was watching van jones is, a good friend of mine, earlier. i heard his heart. i heard what he was saying. i heard what he wanted to hear from our president. and i think the president will claire some of the things maybe he didn't get a chance to address today. >> all right. andre bower, appreciate you coming on. thank you so much for your perspective. >> reporter: thank you, amber. that interview taking place earlier in the day. but, again, the president always has the ability to follow up with nuance and context. the question continues, what did he mean by "many sides"? many looking to his twitter account on that >> u.s. leaders denounce the rally as radical bigotry. we discuss race relations with a bit of history in mind. stay with us. as "newsroom" pushes on. olay eyes
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welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. breaking news continues out of the state of virginia. i'm george howell, cnn, atlanta. three people have been arrested in a rally that broke out. authorities opened a civil rights investigation. this after a car plowed into a crowd of people protesting white nationalists. also we have video of that incident. we warn you before we show it, the video is graphic. here it is is. it shows part of a chain reaction of that attack.
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that red van moved into the crowd after being hit from behind by the attacker's car. we know a 32-year-old woman died in that crowd. 19 other peep injured. several critically. police took this man into custody in connection with the car attack. 20-year-old james alex fields jr. the governor had an emotional message for the white nationalist yous that showed autopsy at his state saturday for this rally. >> i have a message to all the white sprepl civili white supremacists and the nazis who came into charlottesville today. our message is plain and simple, go home. you are not wanted in this great commonwealth. shame on you. you pretend that you're patriots but you are anything but a patriot. >> in the meantime, democrats and republicans are criticizing the president of the united
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states donald trump for not calling these protesters exactly what they are, white nationalists. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. on many sides. it's been going on for a long time in our country. not donald trump. not barack obama. this has been going on for a long, long time. >> joining me to talk more about the situation we have with us this hour is the ceo for the center of civil and human rights right here in atlanta. derreck, it's a flash to have you with us to discuss this. so i want to, first of all, play for our viewers just to see again what happened exactly there in charlottesville, virginia. you see these protesters clashing with white supreme sifts there. look, i want to be very clear here. this is not a matter of politics. this is not a matter of right or left here. this is a matter of right and
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wrong. and i want to steal a line from christiane amanpour. there is awe time to be truthful and not neutral. it is hard to see in the totality there. it's hard to see. what are your thoughts? >> we need a galvanizing, somebody who can speak to the country about what we are, who we are. these are vestiges from the old age. we are trying to create a new country that is accepting of everybody. so the good thing here is that, george, when this happened it was because of a court that struck down this vestige of an old pillar of old courage. >> we have seen this play out in several southern states. >> new orleans. flags coming down in south carolina, in georgia. and everywhere else. for those of you who think this
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country is not moving forward away from this, you are wrong. so i think this is the time our president and our leaders need to stand up and say that old self is done. we are hear to build a new you country that has respect for everybody. >> let's talk about that. the history comes into mind. again, that is why it is very good to have you with us. this is an issue that divides americans. it is very emotional for people. they look back and say, look, this is a matter for me to preserve history. others say, look, this for me, it's a symbol of the past. it's a symbol of racism. it is a symbol of bigotry. how do people come together, as you say, to move forward with such a divisive issue? >> look at what we are building now, new monuments. the new monument i want to think about is the african-american museum in d.c. that just got completed. one by dr. king erected in d.c.
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they show justice, that show courage, moral courage. so when i think about myself in the u.s., i think about what do i do every day to bring justice to the country? not to bring injustice or to bring vestiges of old age. no. what are you doing as an american to really make place a place of equality. so people have to look at the courage. dr. king, next year, 50 years. his death. what have you done in the last 50 years as an american to make sure that his dream has come true? i think that's what people need to look at at this moment. the president has to say something really powerful. you at your neighborhood, your school, your place of worship, do something to stop the old vestiging from taking root. >> it is on the burden of everyone. it's on the backs of everyone to make a difference in the case. going back to the president of the united states, the leader of
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the free word, the question many people are raising about his term kwoe"on many sides." again, looking at the clashes that took place. what does he surmise by "on many sides." is this saying one is as legitimate as another. >> i don't know what the president is thinking there. but i can tell you this, you cannot compare these two pieces. there is an importance in looking at the civil rights movement and what it did and those people to say, no, you cannot bring these old vestiges back. you can't compare them. we have to remind everybody the civil rights movement was not violent. you don't bring violence to violence because then you don't solve anything. we are looking to encourage everybody. you can say something powerful without being violent. but we have a child who is dead
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because somebody forgot the moral principle of nonviolence. so the center for civil and human rights is rooted in this nonviolence. >> i'm thinking about the iconic lawn maker john lewis. >> yes. >> to think about what he went through, what he withstood to make a change. nonviolence an important point to make. der derreck, thank you. >> after the break, we look at the escalating tensions between washington and pyongyang. that's ahead as cnn "newsroom" continues here around the united states and around the world. stay with us. nada. really? dish issues? throw it all in. new cascade platinum powers through... even burnt-on gravy. nice. cascade.
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welcome back. a quick update. the u.s. justice department opened a civil rights investigation into saturday's deadly unrest that took place in charlottesville, va srafpirgivi. one woman was killed, a dozen others injured when a car slammed into a crowd of protesters counter demonstrating against white supremacists attempting to hold a rally in that town. another major story we are following, the north korean missile threat to the u.s. island of guam. the united states and its allies are bracing for a potential strike. and cnn has learned that the u.s. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is set to meet with the south korean president monday. the island of guam is preparing for the worst. it is dubbed the tip of the
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sphere. cnn covering the story from across the globe with correspond epbts bas correspondepbcorrespon correspondents in key position. anna, any indication what might come out of this meeting with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the south korea an president? >> reporter: george, we understand the general has arrived here in seoul ahead of the meeting with the president tomorrow. obviously north korea top of the agenda. this was a scheduled visit to east asia. he planned this some time ago. it's now more relevant than ever. from south korea, he will head to china. we understand then japan and hawaii. but he's here to discuss plans
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as to what to do if there was a provocation to the north. this is the united states reaffirming its commitment to south korea. this is an alliance that dates back decades. it is a very deep alliance, strong alliance. the general coming to korea affirms that. as for the people of south korea, this is a beautiful sunday evening. they have taken to the streets. there is a protest going on for the release of a political prisoner. people just enjoying their sunday afternoon. i wouldn't say oblivious to what's happening less than 60 kilometers away, which is where the north korean border is from where we are here in s is eoul. certainly, george, they are not letting it ruin their weekend. >> the proximity that you point out, so very close. people moving loalong with thei lives. now charisse, the same, people
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moving along with their daily lives. what is the nation doing to preparing for any potential strike? >> reporter: it is doing something. ministry of defense deployed interceptor systems to southern regions of japan. they would fly over in pyongyang carries through with this threat against guam. the ministry of defense doing that in the middle of a national holiday here showing even know officials have taken a measured response to this ramping up of rhetoric in the u.s. and north korea, they are taking the threats seriously. local reports saying that the systems are in place and the launch pads are up angled towards the sky, ready to take out the threat if need be. look, like you said, george, people are enjoying a regular day. it is a beautiful evening here in tokyo. we're in one of the main shopping districts. people are going about their regular lives.
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they did name hiroshima. let's focus that city for a moment here. this week marks the anniversary of the bombings, a stark and clear reminder of the conference questio consequences of an attack. >> charisse, thank you for the report there in tokyo. hoping things continue as normal and usual there in tokyo. anna same for you as well. carl baker is director of programs at pacific forum for international and strategic studies live in honolulu, hawaii. good to have you with us, sir. so we are hearing from the president is getting some sort of guidance whether he takes it or not, from his allies,
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adversaries urging caution in this situation. where do things stand now? is this a matter of who calls whose bluff first? >> well, in some respects, yes, i think it is. because you have -- both sides have used the rhetoric. yet you can see there is no preparations going on on either side for anything more than what north korea has promised to be a launching of miss aoeuls towards guam. sit important to realize their threat was fairly specific but also very cautious, saying they would launch missiles over japan and they would land somewhre between japan and guam. >> are both men, both of these leaders now in sort of backed in a corner i guess is the question. the leader of north korea, does he have to take some sort of action in order to, you know, show people that he is in fact, you know in charge and leading
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the country? du following through with what he says. and the president of the united states, does he find you huplz himself in a corner here? is there a way out? >> there is a way out. both have been known to make threats and not follow through. this is coming sort of comic. it has always been the case of tphoerbg forecast to make blustery threats. what's new is the president on the united states has stpaopdooo that level. >> we understand at the same time there is a great deal of bluster between two leaders. diplomatic channels are main in place. is there a chance that diplomacy could in fact, win the day here. you hear the president on one hand. you hear members of his cabinet saying sort of the same thing
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but not exactly. in fact, the more diplomatic stance when it comes to this issue. >> a more diplomatic stance and more normal stance talk about deterring the other side. that's always been the international standard is we can talk about military force. but when you talk about military force in terms of interring the element. that is what the have been done. >> charisse just pointed out what happened last time an atomic bomb was used. that's what we're talking about here. we're talking about possible nuclear war. there are families around the world. you don't have to be in the united states. you don't have to be in south korea. you can be in russia, anywhere around the world. when you hear this topic being discussed, it affects you. it affects your families. you think about it.
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it makes many people concerned. what do you do with that? there is a great deal of anxiety when it reaches homes. >> that's right. the fact is that japan and south korea, specifically south korea, has lived with this for a long time. they can he enjoy their sunday because they have become accustomed to this threat. when you hear the united states talking about it in an almost cavalier way that we need to stop this now through military action. that's not the right answer. the answer is we need to work on the diplomat you can side. we need to give the tkupt you can diplomat you can process a chance. the fact is the reason that past were presidents haven't been able to find a solution is
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because it is a complicated problem. and there's a risk to a lot of people from this kind on of a rufbgy environment. >> nothing cavalier about this topic. thank you so much for being with us. we appreciate your time today. thank you. >> thank you. still ahead here, more on the deadly clashes that took place in the u.s. state of virginia. we hear from a shocked witness who saw the car run into pedestrians. stay with us as cnn's breaking news coverage rolls on. we send our kids out into the world, full of hope. and we don't want something like meningitis b getting in their way. meningococcal group b disease, or meningitis b, is real. bexsero is a vaccine to help prevent meningitis b in 10 to 25 year olds. even if meningitis b is uncommon, that's not a chance we're willing to take. meningitis b is different from the meningitis
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this video shows you what happened. a car tack is being attainvestid autos a civil rights case. this man is being held in connection with the crash. in the meantime, we are hearing reaction from democrats and republicans criticizing the united states for not calling it what it was. protesters there who were white nationalists. witnesses who saw that car slam into this group of counterprotesters in charlottesville say the car was going very fast. two men at the scene describe exactly what they heard and saw. listen. >> the car reversed very fast in the back of the street as you can see in the video.
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we were sort of still in the scene and jumped out to get around the corner, the barrier, this building. the car flew by. immediately victims started coming out. my friend ran after the car. i gave first aid to a lady who had come out from the scene. yeah. basically what happened. the car disappeared after that. >> were you able to get a look at the driver as he sped by you? >> no. the car had tinted windows. so it was difficult to see in. so i was looking is this person going to come directly towards me? i was looking to get out of the way of the car when it came back. i just saw it plow into the group of protesters. and i thought, well, this is clearly like terrorist incident, right? >> i got a glimpse of the driver. i was standing just a few feet from him as he came back. a white male. appeared to have close cropped hair. it was tinted windows. i didn't get a very good look at him. >> terrifying moments indeed. our breaking news coverage continues next hour with christi
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